|Publication number||US6955458 B2|
|Application number||US 10/463,693|
|Publication date||Oct 18, 2005|
|Filing date||Jun 18, 2003|
|Priority date||Jun 18, 2003|
|Also published as||CA2453261A1, CA2453261C, US20040257801|
|Publication number||10463693, 463693, US 6955458 B2, US 6955458B2, US-B2-6955458, US6955458 B2, US6955458B2|
|Inventors||Harjinder S. Cheema|
|Original Assignee||Cheema Harjinder S|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (31), Referenced by (13), Classifications (12), Legal Events (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
The invention pertains to gutter systems and exterior lighting systems for buildings. More particularly, it pertains to a system which combines a decorative lighting system in a rain gutter.
Decorative lights are commonly installed on the outside of houses and other buildings at Christmas time, often taking the form of strings of lights hung along the eaves. Since rain gutters are commonly installed around the eaves of buildings, adjacent to where seasonal decorative lighting is often installed, it is known in the prior art to associate the two together in some manner. Examples of this are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,019,488 (Hastings), U.S. Pat. No. 6,363,662 (Coates) and U.S. Pat. No. 3,204,090 (Kvarda, Jr.).
Putting up such lighting systems before Christmas and taking them down afterwards can be a substantial task, and one requiring the use of a ladder and needing to be done at a time of year when the weather is an obstacle to such outdoor work in many locales. It would be desirable to eliminate the requirement for seasonal installation and removal of the lighting system by means of a permanent installation. It would also be desirable to provide a lighting system in which the lights can be mounted easily and permanently adjacent to the eaves of a building.
The invention provides a gutter system having decorative ropelights held in a longitudinal groove in the face of the gutter. The groove is sized and configured to receive and retain a ropelight without using clips or other separate attachment devices. The system is easy to install on a building and eliminates the need for annual installation and removal of decorative lights, as the lighting system, though removable from the gutter if desired, is intended to be left in place permanently without the need for removal or for any maintenance other than simple cleaning.
Corresponding and like parts are referred to in the following description and indicated in the drawings by the same reference characters.
Longitudinal grooves 18, 20 are formed in the outer face 22 of the front wall, extending along the length of the gutter and protruding into its inner volume. Grooves 18, 20 are preferably spaced apart. For example, on a five inch high gutter, the grooves could be spaced about two inches apart.
As best seen in
Gutter 10 is provided in longitudinal sections of suitable length and, in use, is installed around all or part of the eaves of a house or other building, with the ropelight connected to a source of electric power by conventional means. Lengths of the gutter are connected together by means of clips (not shown in the drawings) which match the profile of the gutter and hold abutting ends of adjacent lengths securely together. Clips for attaching lengths of gutter end to end are well known in the art and such clips, adapted to fit the particular profile of the gutter 10 and not interfere with the fit of the ropelights in the grooves, are used in the present invention.
In order to connect lengths of gutter 10 at the corners of a roof, inside corner section 32 and outside corner section 34 are provided. Referring to
The edge portions of each end 36, 38 of corner section 32 are stepped inward by approximately the thickness of the gutter material to provide means for overlapping connection to lengths of gutter 10. Referring to
Outer corner section 34, shown in
The edge portions of each end 46, 48 of corner section 34 are stepped inward, at portion 68, by approximately the thickness of the gutter material, in the same manner as described above for corner section 32, in order to permit the connection of the corner section to gutter lengths 10 by overlapping gutter 10 over portion 64. Again, this mode of connection of lengths of gutter by means of a corner section having edges that are stepped inward does not require the presence of ropelight-holding grooves and is of general application to prior art gutters.
Corner sections 32, 34 are used where lengths of gutter 10 are to be installed at a 90° angle to each other. However, in some applications, other angles of connection, such as 30°, 45°, 60°, 120° and 150° may be required, depending on the roof design, or for applications such as gazebos in corner sections for such uses, the angle of the back walls and respective front walls is made to be whatever is required for a particular application, rather than the 90° corner illustrated in
The embodiment of the gutter and lighting system described above and illustrated in the drawings has two longitudinal grooves for ropelights. However, the gutter may be made having only one longitudinal groove (for example, groove 18) in the face of the gutter, or with three or more grooves, depending on the amount of decorative lighting desired. In most cases, one, two or three grooves with ropelights will be preferred.
The gutter system of the invention can be installed when constructing a house or installed on an existing house to replace conventional gutters. If desired, a leafguard of types already known in the art can be optionally used in conjunction with the gutter system of the invention to minimize the entry of debris into to the gutter. Also, for roof configurations where a gutter does not extend around the entire roof, the light ropelighting can be continued through non-guttered segments of the fascia by means of a routered groove in the fascia, so the entire roof line can be illuminated.
The gutter system has a very streamlined appearance and is easy to clean, both on the outside of the gutter, since there are no clips or protruding elements attaching the ropelights to the gutter, and on the inside, since the longitudinal grooves do not interfere with the flow of water or debris through the gutter.
As will be apparent to those skilled in the art in the light of the foregoing disclosure, many alterations and modifications are possible in the practice of this invention without departing from the spirit or scope thereof. For example, the gutter can have any practical trough-like profile, so long as it has a front wall portion for the ropelight-retaining grooves. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is to be construed in accordance with the substance defined by the following claims.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US7845819||Feb 24, 2009||Dec 7, 2010||Strong Steve J||Under the eve hideaway lights|
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|US8015755 *||Oct 20, 2009||Sep 13, 2011||Bradley Miller||Integrated housing mounting system|
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|US8956000 *||Jul 20, 2012||Feb 17, 2015||Stephane Martinez||System and method for illumination of a rain gutter|
|US9103535||Mar 15, 2013||Aug 11, 2015||Molly Strobel||Decorative lights installation systems|
|US9603221||Jan 6, 2015||Mar 21, 2017||Stephane Martinez||System and method for illumination of a rain gutter|
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|US20140022767 *||Jul 20, 2012||Jan 23, 2014||Stephane Martinez||System and Method For Illumination of a Rain Gutter|
|USD775374||Aug 7, 2015||Dec 27, 2016||Peak Innovations Inc.||Railing|
|U.S. Classification||362/581, 362/145, 362/152, 362/249.06, 362/249.04|
|International Classification||F21V33/00, F21S4/00|
|Cooperative Classification||F21V33/006, F21W2121/004, F21W2121/00, F21S4/20|
|Mar 22, 2006||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: NEXT INNOVATIONS INC., CANADA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CHEEMA, HARJINDER S.;REEL/FRAME:017344/0551
Effective date: 20060317
|Apr 15, 2009||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|May 31, 2013||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 18, 2013||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|
|Dec 10, 2013||FP||Expired due to failure to pay maintenance fee|
Effective date: 20131018